I found this idea on my "alter ego" blogsite (http://chrystalf.wordpress.com/ for all who are interested) and loved it...so I'm implimenting for myself. Some of you know of the "I Choose to be Grateful" fan page I set up on facebook--but this way I can be a little more specific. I have a feeling this will be an ongoing journey. Wish me luck!
Thank You for:
1. my home. specifically that it's mine...though, perhaps that's a bad way of looking at it. i'm a steward of all You've given me, and You have the right to direct me to use those resources in any way You wish. but for the moment, anyway, i'm sole mistress of a haven to where i can retreat in any given storm.
2. a car that actually cranks every time. i've thanked You before, multiple times, but this one never gets old. the katrina-era lemon that required nights of charging the battery only to have it die again the second i parked is a distant memory, and a reminder to be grateful for reliability.
3. my college degree. the four years had their ups and downs, but the piece of paper is mine, and so is everything for which it stands.
4. my paralegal certification. it relates to the above, with the exception that i was fairly confident i'd pass college; i was beyond shocked to pass the paralegal exam. only You know the full extent of what the preparation process cost. only You got me through it. thank You.
5. gabriel's hugs. doesn't matter what the day has been like--when he throws his arms around my waist and burrows his head in my stomach, i feel alive again every time.
6. watermelon. seriously. i'd expect to be sick of it by now, but everything from the smell to the messy juice rolling down my forearms says "mom"....just like...
7. ...herbal essenses shampoo. i'm always taken back to the summer before my 16th birthday when i smell it--learning to drive adam's car, watching tyler feed the goats, pretending to "roll" aunt patsy's house with amber, teaching chris french in the hotel room before darron and becky's wedding. it's evocative.
8. and speaking of mom....my mother. she listens. always. the many hats she wears. and she's big enough to admit when God's still working on her in situations. i pray i'm that humble in thirty years.
9. my dad. his strength. his wisdom. his corny jokes. the way he preaches with passion, and isn't ashamed to cry under the anointing.
10. my incredible church family. they are "the church" more than any building. they are my family when flesh-and-blood are far away. i can't make it a week without seeing them.
11. JAMHOP. a convergence of like-minded people. i never leave without feeling refreshed and inspired. they are my unit. they are my support group.